The inciting event that starts our hero down the path to opposing Fear Corporation.
It was midnight, and pitch dark on Chacy street in Sanitarium and the old kitchen stove was on. A fresh pot of coffee was on the fire. It was warm in the Guidry family’s small, cramped kitchen as Gideon’s younger brother Mark had just sat down on the couch when the doorbell rang. Mark, Gideon’s younger brother was alone in the family’s kitchen working on his broken replacement robot when the young man heard the doorbell ring several times and went straight to the door.
Mark, never one to follow orders, had been instructed to never to answer the doorbell at night, especially if he was by himself, but when he heard the doorbell, the young man got up and answered the door. As Mark opened the door, he saw a little gray-haired old lady. It was the Guidry’s neighbor, Ms. Viola Green, who appeared frantic as she told Mark that her cat was missing. Mark, who had also been told repeatedly to never to go out at night, nevertheless was friends with Mrs. Green’s son, who was away serving in the military. Mark had promised the poor old woman’s son to look after her.
“My cat, Sweet Pea is missing.”
“Don’t worry, Mrs. Green I’ll see if I can find your cat.”
So against his better judgment, Mark went down the long winding stairs to the street, to search for Ms. Green’s cat, where he immediately noticed an all white van with a dark hand painted on the side of it. He started to go back up the stairs, but then he saw two men in the front seat of the van, one of whom waved to him to come talk to him and so Mark walked up to the driver’s side window to ask the men if they had seen his neighbor Ms. Green’s cat and before Mark could react, the poor young man was clubbed over the head and stuffed into the back of the van and tied up and gaged. One of the men jumped out and ran upstairs to the Guidry apartment to search for wittiness and found Ms. Green sitting on the Gundry’s couch. Neighbors said they heard a woman scream and a struggle and someone pounding on what sounded like a wall. Then, all the lights went out in the building and since all had grown quiet, they went to sleep.
At five o’clock the next morning, Gideon came home from his job and found the apartment ransacked, many of Gideon’s personal papers were strewn all over the bedroom floor and many of the walls were covered in blood. There was no sign of either Mark or Ms. Green. They both were presumed to have joined the disappeared. Gideon's entire family took the loss of Gideon's younger brother Mark hard for many months after the incident. The police put yellow tape around the front door of Gideon's apartment and even sent a robot detective to investigate. One neighbor reported she had seen two rather large muscular men put a large plastic box in the back of a white van and then drive away at a rapid rate of speed and even heard what sounded like the van speeding up the freeway to the north.
The robot crime analyst stated, "Well, men, let's wrap things up now, I don't see much else here to investigate. Let's let these folks have some privacy. Here, Mr. Guidry is my card, if you hear anything new, please call me and if we discover anything at all, we will give you a call, and if you need us we will come back out."
Then, Gideon heard the robot crime investigator on the phone say, Robot Officer, Bage Number Q1225 to base, We are returning to the station, the crime scene is quiet now. Did you run the missing subversive's criminal record?" Then Gideon overheard someone on the other end of the phone say, "Oh, you mean the missing person?"
"Well, he had three misdemeanor convictions for petty theft."
"Oh, yeah? And what did he steal?"
"Food, specifically a loaf of bread, a piece of fruit and a can of beans."
"Yes, all these subversives are like rats, they steal any food they can."
"Did you ever think that with food rations cut in half, they may be starving?"
"I wouldn't know about that. We robots don't consume food. Just electricity."
"Yeah, that's right, you speak English so well, sometimes I forget you are a machine. "
"Well, folks I'm afraid, that is about all we can do for now. We are all sorry for your loss and we will continue this investigation."
“Do you think they will? ”asked Gideon’s stepmother, Gladys.
“I seriously doubt it. After all, to them Mark is now merely another subversive amongst the disappeared. Control staff hasn’t exactly gone out of their way to find any of the others, have they? “
“We will search and never stop searching. Meanwhile, let's take a sample of that blood and have it DNA tested. Might lead us to Mark or tell us if there is any point in searching for him.“
Mark, like many other subversives, had just joined the disappeared and appeared to have been kidnapped by those two men, who were suspected to be part of Fear Corporation’s Dark Hand. Gideon, who would never stop searching for his brother Mark, felt guilty for not protecting Mark. This was not the first, nor would it be the last abduction and disappearance of a subversive or of a subversive family.